Biography - James Blackwelder

JAMES F. BLACKWELDER, M. D., is numbered among the leading physicians of this city, Litchfield, where he has resided since 1871. It seems almost wonderful that so many physicians of repute should be residents of this one city, yet it is a fact that the medical profession is better represented in this place than many others, and among them all stands pre-eminent the subject of this brief sketch.
Dr. Blackwelder is a native son of this same county that he now honors with his residence, his birth occurring near this city, August 2, 1841. His father, Peter Blackwelder, was one of the pioneer settlers of this county, the date of his advent in this region being 1832. He was born at Concord, N. C., September 7, 1810, but when a young man, came with a cousin, Alfred Blackwelder, to Illinois, and located near Hillsboro, but afterward removed to this locality, settling near the city of Litchfield. The journey from North Carolina was made on horseback, and as the young men were young and active, they enjoyed the trip with all the ardor of young venturesome men, to whom hardships were nothing.
When the father of our subject came here, there were but few improvements, and he was able to put up a new claim for a very small sum. On this claim he put up a log cabin and made a home for the bride he brought to brighten his fireside for him in 1837. This lady was Mrs. Wagoner, nee Scherer, who was born in Greensboro, N. C., and came to this county at about the same time as her husband. This couple reared a family of the following children: Mary E., wife of S. Lewdwick; I. S., of Chicago; our subject; Mrs. S. J. Witherspoon; M. L., of Washington, Kan.; and G. H., of Wichita, Kan. Peter, the father, died about 1857, and the mother died in 1853, of cholera. The parents were both members of the Lutheran Church.
Our subject received a good education in the public schools of his native county, and in the Hillsboro Academy, where he took an academic course. He began the study of medicine in 1861, under Dr. I. W. Fink, of Hillsboro, and took a course of lectures at the St. Louis Medical College, but was graduated from the Cincinnati Medical College in the Class of '69. During the war he offered his services to the United States army, and was appointed Assistant Surgeon on field duty and field hospital, and was sent with Sherman in his march to the sea. His next assignment was with the Thirty-second Illinois Regiment at Marietta, Ga., then in preparation to march to the sea, and he was with it through almost all its whole term of service, John Logan, of Carlinville, being his Colonel. The Doctor saw a good deal of active service, participated in the Grand Review at Washington, and then returned to Hillsboro, after serving his country faithfully.
After a short residence in the last-named place, Dr. Blackwelder located at Moro, Madison County, Ill., but to better his condition, he removed to Litchfield in June, 1871. He did not come alone, as he had taken unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Grace Frick, of Alton, Ill. They were married October 10, 1867, and both regard that day as one of the happiest in their lives. Mrs. Blackwelder was born in 1842, at Muney, Pa., and when but a girl removed to Alton, in about 1850. She is a daughter of C. H. Frick, who became a well-known citizen of that place, where he was the originator of the glass works, which he first started with his own money, but finally induced capitalists to invest in and enlarge, until it is now the largest industry of Alton. Ever since Dr. Blackwelder came to Litchfield, he has continued in practice here, and now enjoys a large and lucrative income from the same.
Our subject has other interests in addition to his practice, among which are the Building and Saving Associations and the Threshing Machine Company, of Litchfield, for the manufacture of threshing machines, in both of which corporations he is largely interested. The Doctor served as Alderman of the city for three years, but has never accepted any other nomination, and is a member of the Litchfield Chapter, A. F. & A. M., in which order he is a prominent person. The Doctor and his estimable wife are worthy members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of this city. To the union of Dr. and Mrs. Blackwelder have been born two children, the elder of whom, Charles H., died when fourteen years old. The other is named Fred C., and still is at home attending the High School.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 205-206.

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